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cidele curo, 56, gardener

ageist EDITORS | september 1, 2015

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An Acting Gardener

Cidele Curo is a gardener.

But that’s not where her story begins. It begins with the 20-something-year-old newly arrived New Yorker taking the resume of a working 90-something-year-old actor, sticking her headshot on it and passing it off as her own.

The gamble worked. She went from magician’s assistant (yes, really) to an actress working in commercials.

“Risk,” she says, “was not part of my vocabulary.” At Ageist we hear a lot of this sort of thing. 

The acting faded as she got older and hit the “dead zone” after 45 (more on this Hollywood actress dead zone in another update). Not that she cared. The end of her first career dovetailed nicely with a period of wild abandon following her divorce. She had gotten comfortable with not apologizing for who she was. The portrait session was hysterical. In all my years, this is the first time a subject showed up with their own Hazmat suit to model, and did she ever rock it.

“Now I exalt in who I am, and people are attracted to that,” she says. “I am more energetic than when I was younger.” As her co-workers, both younger and more streetwise put it, she’s “got swag.”

This concept of the freedom to be the people they were meant to be is something I hear over and over.

So gardening it was. She hilariously bungled her entrance interview with the New York City Parks Dept., but won the job because her boss thought that if she could dedicate 30 years of her life to acting, she’d do the same with gardening. And she has, but hasn’t stopped there. She’s been accepted to the prestigious Master Gardener program at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens.

She picked up tennis and has her eye on fencing, or team sports, provided the “uniforms are good-looking enough.” After all, this is a woman who customizes men’s suits by cutting the legs into shorts.

“I want my epitaph to read, 'I got a lot done today.' ”